art journal detail, Hali Karla
handmade wirebound art journal with scrap papers becomes fresh art journal territory, Hali Karla Arts
28 day Practice in Presence in a handmade wirebound art journal made with scrap papers and art. Each page takes on a new life. artist: Hali Karla
detail of mixed media art journal page, Hali Karla

These pages are from a few of my first days in my 28 day creative Practice in Presence – where I get back into my art journal each morning for 28 days straight.

The first few days felt great. They always do. Finally back in the pages with paint, pen and determination to let nothing get in the way of this gift of sacred time just for me. This particular practice is more of a prayer and meditation practice than it is about art-making, per se. That’s why I enjoy the un-blank pages as starting points right now.

My mind is never empty when I begin anyway, and the marks there are like walking into a room to meet a friend – the sight of them shifts my energy and focus into something new and refreshing almost immediately.

Then after a few days – it showed up on day 5 and 6 this time – I start to feel the rising of discomfort. Not unlike a cleanse, this is a discomfort that has been sitting within me for awhile, like the sensations of toxins leaving our cells.

Stirring up all that pent up creative energy and giving my subconscious a place to land, free from cerebral merry-go-rounds, creates a clearing for my deeper truths.

Clearly, I sense: Something’s got to shift.

The source of the discomfort is change. At my unattached essence, I sort of adore the mystery of change – but my human mind and body still resist it so cleverly… keeping me distracted from my own need for it in the name of comfort.

That’s why I practice. With color and paint and pages. With associations in images and the ways compositions form and evolve in texture and line. With all the intuitive nuances of engagement that need only my presence and honest effort to get out of the way and listen to the quiet – so that I might lend a helpful hand to what is emerging… and in some cases, aching to be revealed through validation and action.

I have a hunch – a pretty clear one – what this whisper-sense and rumbling discomfort is all about, but I don’t need to get ahead of myself with assumptions or quick-fix reactions. Right next-steps reveal themselves when I observe the weather for awhile.

I’m grateful that the clarity is surfacing with 21 days still to go.

So for now, I’ll keep listening to the pages.

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